Excess screen time is known for its potential health risks. Adding to the growing list of health concerns and developmental issues, a new study revealed a connection between excessive TV or video exposure in children under the age of two and issues related to sensory processing.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, has revealed an association between early exposure to screens, and the way children perceive and respond to the world around them.

Sensory processing disorder occurs when the brain has trouble processing the information it receives through the senses. It is often identified in children, although adults can also develop the issue.

The symptoms of sensory processing disorder exist on a spectrum. It makes individuals oversensitive to things around them, like sound, touch or taste. Over time, they become over- or under-responsive to these sensations.

According to researchers, 60% of kids with ADHD have issues with sensory processing, and around 70% of kids with autism experience it.

For the latest study, researchers extracted data from the National Children's Study, which involved 1,471 children. The team looked at the data on television or DVD-watching by kids at 12, 18 and 24 months between 2011 and 2014.

The sensory processing outcomes of the participants were assessed at 33 months using an infant/toddler sensory profile (ITSP) questionnaire completed by parents/caregivers. This gave insights into how children process what they see, hear, smell, etc.

Based on their sensory-related behaviors, children were grouped as "typical," "high" or "low" scores. "Typical" score indicates that the child is within one standard deviation from the average of the ITSP norm.

"According to the researchers, children exposed to greater TV viewing by their second birthday were more likely to develop atypical sensory processing behaviors, such as 'sensation seeking' and 'sensation avoiding,' as well as 'low registration' — being less sensitive or slower to respond to stimuli, such as their name being called, by 33 months old," the news release said.

Although the study does not imply a causative effect, researchers believe excess screen time could cut short "meaningful play and social interactions, which may have significant implications for the development of typical sensory processing and overall level of daily function."

"Considering this link between high screen time and a growing list of developmental and behavioral problems, it may be beneficial for toddlers exhibiting these symptoms to undergo a period of screen time reduction, along with sensory processing practices delivered by occupational therapists," said lead author Karen Heffler.

However, further studies are needed to determine why early screen exposure is associated with specific sensory-related behaviors, including those seen in children with autism spectrum disorder.

"This association could have important implications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism, as atypical sensory processing is much more prevalent in these populations," Heffler said.